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Showing posts from June, 2014

So why does this go with that?

So my last post was about harmony in design, a subject near and dear to my heart and one I had been wanting to write about. After I was done with it though, I started thinking and well, second guessing. It was boring. Way too simplistic. Who the heck would be interested in that stuff anyway. why do I bother and why am I so into it. My inner monologue pretty much talked me out of how inspired I was to write about it.
    The next day I was at my job, which is the accessories department of Macys. A customer came in with  a bag which contained her new dress she had bought to wear to a wedding. She said, " The problem is, I have no idea how to pick out jewelry that will go with it!"

     "Ah, my favorite thing to do!" I said, and had her show me the dress.  It was a sun dress with a bold geometric print in black, plum and white, and black around the yoke.

     Great dress, but did it match her? She was petite and fair, brunette with soft features. The challenge was n…

What does it take to harmonize?

I have this great old book by Maitland Graves, called The Art of Color and Design, copyright 1951. I am pretty sure it was a textbook for the Pratt Institute of Art. It's so old school. No fluff, just sound keys and principles on good design. From this book I have learned a great deal about harmony in design.


"Harmony is a combination of units which are similar in one or more respects. 

Harmony is a medium interval or difference in one or more dimensions. Units are harmonious when one or more of their elements or qualities, such as shape, size, or color, are alike."




Take these two circles for example. They are identical in size and shape but different in color. They harmonize insofar as they have similar elements.  

"Complete repetition is one extreme. Here, all the units are identical in size, shape, color, value. The effect of complete repetition is monotony. 


 Discord is the opposite extreme. Discord is a combination of totally unrelated units. The effect of…